Linville Gorge from the summit of Table Rock

Linville Gorge from the summit of Table Rock

Monday, March 4, 2013

2013 The Good Race 8K

This past Saturday, I made the last minute decision to head to Morganton to support the Good Samaritan Clinic by running in their 8K. The good cause aside, this had all the makings of a bad experience. The race began at 10:00 a.m.; it was a cold rain as I drove up; it was all on the Greenway--which I see far too much of; and it was a short distance for which I do absolutely no training. I had not run a short race since October's Burkemontster 5-miler. Since that event, my race distances have been: 66, 50, 62.6, and 37 miles. There was a glimmer of hope as I looked over the preregistration list on Friday, but that glimmer was quickly extinguished when I arrived and saw Robert Murray, Dwight Winters, and Josh Baker had signed up on race day.

Actually, I am exaggerating things a bit. I did this event to support the cause more than to hope to compete. I even went early and ran about five or six miles on the greenway, thinking to make this my long run for the weekend, given that last weekend was Mount Mitchell. So, it really didn't matter that all those speedsters showed up. More money for the cause.

I am not a fast starter and it felt almost like a wave coming past me when we began. There are only so many configurations of the greenway's trails that you can use for a race and this route was something new. We began at Catawba Meadows, kind of like with Sunrise Run, but picked up the greenway at a different point. Then, we ran toward Freedom High School, turning around about 1/4 mile before we reached that end of the Greenway. My usual theory is that wherever you are, position-wise, at the 1/3 point of the race is pretty much where you will finish. Well, on Saturday, my finishing position was basically set within the first 1/4 mile. From the 1/4 mile point until about the last kilometer, I passed no one and no one passed me. I did, however, manage to catch up to my friend, Robert, and pass him with about a kilometer to go. I fully expected him to pass me back, but he never did. Perhaps because he had been up three times the prior night with his newborn baby.

The race drew a good crowd of almost 150 runners, plus twenty relay teams. Ultimately, I was ok with my time of 31:56. I knew I couldn't break 30:00 and I hoped I wouldn't drift below 35:00, so it was right in there. My pace calculated out to 6:23. I keep a spreadsheet of all my races and according to it, my average 5K pace over the last ten or so races is 6:12 and my average 10K pace is 6:31. Again, this fell right in between. But, those 5 & 10Ks were all much hillier than this race, so if I account for that, I was probably a bit slower than I used to be.

They had Great Atlanta Bread providing chili and bread after the race. I didn't try the chili, but the bread was great. Awards were locally-made medallions and they had quite a few door prizes. I won a throw blanket that had the race logo on it. It's a good size to keep in the car in case a traveler gets cold.

This will likely become an annual event and, given that it's local, it's safe to assume I'll be back in future years. I just might have to make a note to do some speedwork beforehand.

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